The African catfish, to be distinguished from other catfish, in scientific jargon it is called Clarias Gariepinus. He does indeed come from central and southern Africa even if not everyone knows it because it has been imported for a long time to the rest of the continent. Today the African catfish is the freshwater fish species most commercialized on the continent and also known in other continents, such as ours.
Giant African catfish
The African catfish is giant, is by definition a large fish. It is not a way of saying, a relative evaluation, it is reality because it reaches a length of 150 cm and a weight of 60 Kg.
In Claridae family, the African catfish is one of over 100 species, in our country it is not present except sporadically, also because it is not yet able to reproduce.
The African catfish is one benthic species, it lives in almost all types of waters, on the bottom, we find it in the most varied environments except in lakes below 20 m of depth. If it had a choice, it would be in pools of water with temperatures between 19 and 27 ° C, but it adapts to the most different environmental conditions.
There are situations in which he has learned to resist even "dry" moments because it has an organ dedicated to air breathing. It is good to know that in addition to being a giant fish, it is also capable of generate electrical discharges.
African catfish: characteristics
The shape of the body of the African catfish it is cylindrical and elongated, slightly compressed, with a broad and flattened head, a wide mouth with 6 long barbels, to be precise 2 above and 4 below.
As regards the fins, the dorsal and ventral ones develop in length, while the caudal one is rounded and small, the gill openings are rather wide. On the back, the color of the African catfish is darker while on the rest of the body it remains brownish, paler at the belly level. It may happen to see younger specimens with widespread punctuation on the body, but then when they grow it disappears.
African catfish: recipes
Among the recipes based on African catfish, let's take a very Italian one, that of spaghetti with catfish sauce. Extra virgin olive oil, 600g catfish, 600g durum wheat semolina pasta, 300g tomato sauce and then parsley, chilli, celery, onion and carrot are needed. For those who want, too a little garlic is not bad.
Cook the onion and celery, then add the garlic clove and parsley, leaving it to cook for about 20 minutes. Putting the fish in the broth, cover and cook for 15 minutes, then drain and fillet. Separately, prepare a chopped carrot, onion and brown them with a piece of chilli in oil for 10 minutes, then add the crumbled fish fillets, tomato, salt and pepper.
This is the sauce. Spaghetti is for cooking as most of us already know.
African catfish: lures
We find African catfish in several Italian sport fishing lakes but only in the summer season, in general it is not very widespread especially because it does not find the environmental conditions to reproduce. He doesn't go hungry, however, because he eats everything. For the baits we can choose those in slices such as squid, herring, carp and other fish that release oils that attract it. There are those who prefer live bait or shrimp and earthworms.
African catfish: what it eats
In nature the African catfish it follows an omnivorous diet, eats aquatic invertebrates, plants, plankton and fish but also comes to eat fruits and small terrestrial vertebrates if it stays on the surface and must survive. It lives several years also because it reaches sexual maturity from 1 to 4 years of age.
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